Dear believing brother, some of the conclusive facts are: the true happiness is gained by getting closer to Allah the Almighty, the true safety and tranquility are gained by obeying Him, the true satisfaction of His Predestination of all things, both the (seemingly) good and the (seemingly) bad is gained by getting acquainted with Him, and the true optimistic view of the future is gained by trusting in Him, Alone. Allah the Almighty is the Lord of all things; through getting closer to Him happiness, safety, guidance, satisfaction and whatever you long for can be gained, while the worst misery, failure, frustration, anxiety and pessimism are resulted from getting away from Him. Actually, this is the starting point of our lesson: Allah is the One and Only truth; and whatever gets you closer to Him helps you gain the true wisdom, guidance, rightness, prosperity and success. On the other hand, whatever veils you from Him is definitely wrong, and it causes you disorder, deviation, misery and destruction.
The cause of misery and happiness:
Hence, happiness is gained by getting closer to Allah, while misery is caused by getting away from Him, happiness is gained by obedience, while misery is caused by disobedience, safety is gained by obedience, while fear is caused by disobedience and success is gained by obedience, while difficulties are caused by disobedience. This is a conclusive truth which should be realized by each believer. Thus, whosoever seeks a matter by disobeying Allah, he will be farthest from what he hopes for and the closest to what he fears most. Turning to Allah in repentance, reconciling with Allah, being in the state of obedience to Allah, having the feeling of being under the shade of Allah, being honest to Him in worship and obedience are top and indescribable states ever. In contrast to these states, turning away from Allah the Almighty, disobeying Him, being indifferent to Him, deviating from His Method are but manifestation of misery.
I would like to remind you dear brother that six thousands million people on earth –this number was indicated in the latest statistics last month- have two essential objectives which are: safety and happiness, and they can be attained through obeying Allah the Almighty, approaching Him, drawing closer to Him, turning to Him in repentance, acting upon His Order, hurrying to serve His creation. On the other hand, misery, anxiety, fear, despair and boredom are the effects of keeping away from Him.
What are the things that veil people from Allah?
The subject matter of our lesson today is: What are the things that veil people from Allah?
Dear brother, common people say words some of which I like. For example, someone may say: everyone is the best doctor to treat himself. Concerning good health, you may hear someone say, "I can't eat this food, because it is bad to my health." Someone else may say, "This dish causes indigestion to me", so he eats light food to keep healthy. Such a person is amazingly keen on having good health, so he is considered a doctor of himself.
Is there anyone who is his own heart's doctor? Don't you know, through your experience, what detaches you from Allah the Almighty? When are you veiled from Him? When are you reckless to Him? When do you feel disconnected with Him? When do you feel that you are close to Him? Don't you have these feelings? If not, then you are in a big trouble Some Islamic scholars say that the state of the hypocrite lasts for about forty years of his life, while the state of the believer changes forty times on one single day. How about you? Was not there any specific act that got you closer to Allah or got you away from Him? How do you feel when you give Sadaqah? How do you feel after you perform Salah properly? How do you feel when you reauthor Al-Quran attentively? How do you feel when you are honest to sh3er? How do you feel when you are merciful to someone, when you are just to someone, when you enjoin Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained), when you forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), when you honor a guest, when you accept someone's invitation and when you speak the truth?
You are supposed to be sensitive to whatever happens to you after a period of attending Islamic knowledge meetings. Such sensitivity helps you recognize the deeds which draw you closer to Allah, and the ones which veil you from Allah the Almighty. In some cases, man is negatively influenced by his surroundings. Someone told me that after he bought an electronic machine, he was veiled from Allah the Almighty, he stopped performing Salah properly and his approaching to Allah was no longer honest; he couldn't have the feelings he used to have in his hearts (sweetness of approaching Allah). However, when he got rid of that machine, he returned back to his previous state. Also, another man told me that once he looked at forbidden things at work, and that was the reason which made him veiled from Allah the Almighty, but when he lowered his gaze again, he felt that he was connected with Allah once again.
Dear brother, let me address you, one by one: do not you get a scale by which you know what gets you closer to Allah the Almighty, and what gets you away from Him? A scale by which you realize what pleases you, and what veils you. This is the subject matter of our lesson today: Ten things veil man from Allah the Almighty.
Last lesson we discussed ten lost things; having Islamic knowledge, but not acting upon it, lacking honesty in performing a deed, doing a deed that isn't compatible with Al-Sunnah, having a heart that is empty from Allah's love, having a body that is indifferent to serving people, wasting time in doing things which do not please Allah, having wealth that is not spent (in giving Sadaqah or paying Zakat), etc.
Today we are discussing ten things that veil man from Allah the Almighty.
Believing in a corrupted doctrine:
The major thing that veils you from Allah the Almighty is believing in a corrupted doctrine. For example, some people believe that Allah the Almighty created man and predestined that he is Kafer, and so He forces him to commit sins, makes him die Kafer and makes him stay in hell for eternity even though man is not responsible for his own deeds (according to this belief, they are imposed on him). Whoever believes in this doctrine thinks that since Almighty Allah can do whatever He wants, He will not be asked why He does that (punishing some people and rewarding sh3er), because His justice is different from ours; He lets some groups people stay in Paradise without caring about their deeds in the worldly life, and He lets other groups stay in Hellfire without caring about their deeds in the worldly life either. Moreover, according to this doctrine man is predestined either to be rich or poor, to be one of the elect (those who are given Allah's grace so they enter Paradise) or one of the reprobate. If this is true, why should man work then?
((Carry on doing (good) deeds, for everybody will find easy to do such deeds as will lead him to his destined place for which he has been created.))
If you believe in a doctrine according to which man is predestined to be Kafer, to drink intoxicants, to commit adultery, to die Kafer and to be in everlasting Hellfire, what should you do (towards Allah)? Such a doctrine definitely veils you from Allah the Almighty.
Thinking evil thoughts about Allah the Almighty:
The worst veil ever that detaches you from Allah the Almighty is thinking evil thoughts about Him: .
((who think evil thoughts about Allah, for them is a disgraceful torment,))
They thought wrongly of Allah- the thought of ignorance-, which is the worst veil ever between people and Allah the Almighty. Also, it explains why believing in a corrupted doctrine is the most dangerous thing in Muslim's life. As a Muslim you are supposed to verify the beliefs before adopting them, and you should make sure if they are sound before believing in them. In this regard, Islamic scholars said, "Aqidah (Islamic theology) can never be believed in by imitating sh3er. Otherwise all misguided people will be excused before Allah the Almighty for imitating sh3er' doctrine." Aqidah is absolutely based on perfect and sound foundations, so you will not be excused when you say, "O my Lord, that person told me that such a thing is right, and I believed him." Allah the Almighty says:
((So know (O Muhammad ) that La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah),))
Allah the Almighty does not say: say, but rather He says:
(So know (O Muhammad )
Dear brother, I repeat again that the worst veil between you and Allah the Almighty is having evil thoughts about Him, and it is even the gravest sin ever. It is greater than transgression, Al-Fahsha' (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.), Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.), Kufr and polytheism. Islamic scholars said, "It is less serious for people to commit major sins than saying against Allah what t they know not." The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:
((This knowledge (i.e. Hadith) is the Religion, so be careful from whom you take your religion.))
He, peace be upon him, also said:
((O Ibn Umar, take care of your religion! It is only your flesh and blood. Take from those who are upright, and do not take from those who have swerved.))
Someone may tell you a story saying, "I know a man who fears Allah strongly, and he used to keep his money in the house, but a thief broke into his house, stole his money and killed him, whereas he, who does not fear Allah, is still safe, his money is in the house and it is safe too. What do you think of this? Is this how Allah the Almighty rewards he who fears Him?!"There are many other stories which are considered a blasphemous act; the implicit message that they convey confirm that Allah isn't the All-Wise nor is He the All-Just. Thus, I repeat over and over again: the major and even the worst veil which veils you from Allah the Almighty is thinking evil and false thoughts about Allah the Almighty:
((and thought wrongly of Allah - the thought of ignorance.))
Correct your beliefs, and be sure that the Perfection of Allah the Almighty is Absolute, so never ever think that He can be unjust Allah the Almighty says:
((And by Nafs (Adam or a person or a soul, etc.), and Him Who perfected him in proportion;* Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him;))
By Allah, there is a big difference between the two interpretations of this Ayat; one of them leads you to have faith, while the other makes you disbelieve. By Allah, it is Kufr to mistakenly think that Allah the Almighty created an-Nafs (the person or the soul) and installed inside it what is wrong for man. On the other hand, it is the absolute perfection when you believe that Allah created an-Nafs and made it know what is right and what is wrong for man by his Fitrah. It is an inner notifier which Allah the Almighty granted you, so you need nobody to teach you what is wrong and what is right; when you commit mistakes, you realize by your own that you do something wrong.
Let me give you another example of people who have wrong beliefs. It is said that the believer will enter Paradise even though he committed adultery or theft, but common people misunderstood that saying that the believer commits adultery and theft, yet he will enter Paradise. The meaning is that he who committed adultery in the past, turned to Allah in repentance and Allah the Almighty accepted his repentance will enter the Paradise. It does not mean that the adulterer will enter Paradise; Allah the Almighty saya:
((nor commit illegal sexual intercourse, ))
Comprehending religious texts is essential. Allah the Almighty mentions in Al-Quran that He taught Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him, some of the interpretations of dreams, events and other things.
In brief, whatever evil thought you think about Allah veils you from Him, whatever corrupted doctrine you believe in veils you from Allah and every implicit accusation for Allah the Almighty of injustice or lack of wisdom veils you from Him. Hence, the price for Paradise is having good thoughts about Allah the Almighty:
((who think evil thoughts about Allah, for them is a disgraceful torment,))
2- The veil of polytheism:
The second veil is polytheism. As you know, polytheism has two types: the explicit polytheism (worshipping idols as aliha (gods)) and the hidden one.
The explicit polytheism:
Once, while I was in America, a friend of mine took me to the Hindu temple. It was a very huge temple which cost six million dollars, and it is located in a suburb in Los Angeles. The entrance is scary, and it contains arches and so wonderful decorations. At the centre of that building, there was a room where a big idol made of bronze was sitting. It is painted with pure gold, and its chest is filled with the most expensive diamonds. This idol alone costs millions of millions. Next to it there were two other idols. While I was there, I saw one of the followers of that religion groveling on the ground in front of that idol prostrating it. I was told that some of those followers are educated people! I saw a coconut breaker at the entrance of the temple, so I asked my friend, "Why is this coconut breaker in here?" He replied saying that the idol loves coconuts, so his worshippers break them for it, and they presented them to him it to eat at night. Worshipping that idol which eats at night and is made of bronze is an example of the explicit polytheism.
The hidden polytheism:
The one billion and two hundred million Muslims all commit the hidden polytheism save few. Allah the Almighty says:
((And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him [i.e. they are Mushrikun -polytheists].))
Depending on someone and dispensing with Allah, thinking that someone can raise your position, and another one can demote you and believing that someone can provide you with sustenance and another one can deprive you are all acts of polytheism:
((The thing I fear most for my Ummah is the hidden Shirk. I am not saying that people worship an idol or a stone, but they are longing for a hidden lust or doing deeds which are not in the Cause of Allah.))
This is the veil of polytheism, so you are ordered to believe in Allah's Monotheism,
((So invoke not with Allah another ilah (god) lest you be among those who receive punishment.))
The hidden polytheism is very serious, and its punishment is so severe and painful; Allah the Almighty disciplines whoever associates other partners with Him, and He may make his deeds fruitless.
A summary of the first two veils:
The first veil is believing in a corrupted doctrine and thinking evil thoughts about Allah the Almighty:
((and thought wrongly of Allah - the thought of ignorance.))
The second veil is the hidden polytheism; when you depend on someone (forgetting about depending on Allah), on your money (verily, he who depends on his own money will be lost), on your own experience, on your intelligence, on your fellow men, on your kinship, on your account in the bank, etc. All of that is considered hidden polytheism; you should depend on Allah Alone. When you depend on someone powerful thinking that by calling him you'll be safe, you commit a polytheistic act. The true believer never depends on anyone ng other than Allah the Almighty. As I said earlier, the hidden polytheism is a veil which disconnects you from Allah the Almighty.
The polytheist is in a dead-lock situation; whatever you associate with Allah the Almighty is weak like you; cannot benefit or harm you, cannot put an end to your life or give life to you nor can it resurrect you.
3- The veil of spoken innovations:
We move to the third veil which is the spoken innovations. There are sayings people for which Allah has sent down no authority, and they have no authentic foundation in religion.
Some of the spoken innovations:
It is said, "Allah the Almighty gives blessings to those who do not deserve them." How dare people say that? This is a spoken innovation. Also it is said, "Attending a funeral, and keep away from finding someone a spouse." This is a spoken innovation which has no origin. Moreover, it is said, "I should care about my own safety (living selfishly without caring about sh3er." Whoever adopts this saying has forgotten:
((Whoever awakes and finds that he no longer cares about the affairs of the Muslimeen, then he is not one of them.))
Someone may adopt the saying, "I prefer to stay away from mixing with people."
((The believer who mixes with people and endures their annoyances is better than one who does not mix with people and does not endure their annoyance.))
These are the Prophet's words.
Another saying is, ""I swore not to serve anyone.", although the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:
((Do the favor to those who deserve it and who do not. If you find that they deserve it, then you will be rewards by them, and if they do not deserve it, then you are good at doing it.))
I would like to mention more other sayings which are considered spoken innovations. They are innovations for which Allah has sent down no authority. Let alone, they are nonsense. One of them is, "Some bad deeds are predestined for some people." According to such innovation whoever drinks intoxicants is not guilty for committing this sin, because he was predestined to commit it. These spoken innovations all veil people from Allah the Almighty. Another innovation is, "Leave the blind one alone, because Allah is more merciful to him than you (He Alone can handle his affairs." Is this an Ayah or a Hadith? This is claptrap.
The spoken innovations not only veil man from Allah the Almighty, but also make him selfish, hypocrite, very anxious, coward, impatient, irritable and niggardly. It is said, "Put some of your money aside for a rainy day." (This saying is understood not to pay Zakat nor give Sadaqah). Another saying is, "Money can solve all problems." This saying is hidden polytheism. Once, a man said that, so Allah punished him by making him in big trouble. He could not solve it; it even confused the patient one. He was very rich, and he said, "Money can solve all problems."Nevertheless, he was put in jail for sixty days, and he was unable to do anything about that; his wealth could not save him although he regarded it the best solution for all problems.
All of the above sayings are spoken innovations which veil people from Allah the Almighty. Let me repeat: the first veil is believing in a corrupted doctrine, the second is the hidden polytheism and the third one is the spoken innovations.
4- The veil of practical innovations:
The forth veil is the veil of the practical innovations.
Some of the superstitions of the practical innovations:
One of these superstitions is to dissolve some salt into a cup of water and spill it on the road where the spouses pass in order to get rid of the quarrels in case they have any. Another one is cooking watercress in order to get its water and shower by it, so that the spouses keep affectionate towards one another. By Allah, there are a lot of practical innovations adopted in our society. Also, it is a practical innovation when a woman brings a piece of fabric, ties it on the widow of the tomb of a waly (righteous man), catches that widow with her hands and shakes it saying: "O my master, I want a baby." She considers that person ilah (god)!!! Isn't he one of Allah's servants?!
Practical innovations are manifested in grieving someone's death; people keep grieving the deceased on the first, the second and the third Thursday of his death. Also, they do that when forty days pass, and when one year pass of his death. You may find that the sister's deceased remains in black (mourning her brother's death) for three years without caring about her husband. These are all innovations:
((It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to mourn for the dead beyond three days, except for the death of her husband; in which case the period of mourning is of four months and ten days.))
Her husband is another issue.
Regarding celebrating weddings, the practical innovation lies in letting the groom sit in front of the female invitees who are dressing up their best clothes. If the groom refuses to sit before the females, he is accused of having a physical defect such as being a one-eyed groom. Therefore, he sits in front of them in order to prove them wrong. Furthermore, the wedding party should be videoed by a woman, and so the female invitees will appear in the video tape dressing their most wonderful clothes. Later on this video tape will be transmitted from house to another (transmitted by the families who are invited to the wedding), so the husbands watch it and their wives tell them about the wives of the men they know. The husband makes comments such as, "That man's wife is beautiful. By Allah, he made the best choice when he married her." The females who wear indecently in the wedding will be watched by many men. If the wedding is not videoed people criticize it saying, "How can you celebrate a wedding without a video recorder?" This is the situation of people; they adopt practical innovations for which Allah has sent down no authority in celebrations, wedding parties, funeral ceremonies, expressing their sorrows and their travels.
In addition to the above mentioned practical innovations man should put a horseshoe on the back of his car, so that both the car and the passengers will be protected from harmful things. You may see Quran inside the car, but the driver reviles religion! Why does he put this Quran, then? Hundreds or even thousands of practical innovations are extremely adopted by Muslims, and they veil them from Allah the Almighty.
Another practical innovation is manifested in the meetings which are held for remembrance of Allah. Man is supposed to jump expressing his submission to Allah. However, since his heart is truly submitted to by Allah during the acts of remembrance, his senses should be submitted too. Besides, the Prophet, peace be upon him, didn't do this. This is how innovations are invented.
One more example of spoken innovations:
Many years ago people had the argument about whether Al-Quran was created or not. That innovated saying caused some people to suffer for ages. A group of people said that Al-Quran was created, while the other group replied that it was not. Consequently, many Islamic scholars were put in jail, many people disbelieved, etc. Now, the question is: did the noble Companions have such arguments? Did the Prophet's Companions innovate anything? That is all about the forth veil.
To sum up, believing in a corrupted doctrine is the first veil, the hidden polytheism is the second one, the spoken innovation is the third one and the practical innovation is the forth one.
5- The veil of the people of implicit major sins:
The fifth veil is people of the implicit major sins; those people are arrogant, and their major sins are implicit. One of them is to believe that you are the only guided person, Allah is just for you, Paradise is for you alone and that all other people who aren't like you are heedless, and lost, and Hellfire is their fate. This is the greatest implicit innovation. Also, another implicit major sin is to mistakenly think that you are the only one to be saved, and to have evil thoughts about people saying, "People are ruined":
((When a person says: "People have been ruined, he is the one to be ruined the most.))
In another version:
((He himself is the most ruined among them.))
It has two meanings: the first one is that whoever has such a thought is the most ruined one among people, and the second meaning is that he is the one who caused their corruption.
a. The behavior of people of the implicit major sins:
Those people are arrogant even when it comes to obeying Allah. Concerning this matter,
Imam Ibn Ata' Allah Al-Sakandari said: "A sin which makes the one who committed it humiliated and submissive is better than an act of obedience which makes man self-conceited and arrogant" Whoever belongs to people of arrogance is arrogant, self-conceited, hypocrite, envious and proud. He boasts about values of the age of Al-Jahiliyyah; he says, "My father is so and so", so what?! A man came to meet the Prophet, peace be upon him, and he trembled when he stood before him, so the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:
((Calm down; I'm just the son of a woman from Quraish…))
He, peace be upon him, didn't say, "I'm Hashemi from bani Adnan, and my grandfather was Qussai",but rather He, peace be upon him said:
((Calm down; I'm just the son of a woman from Quraish who used to eat dried bread in Makkah.))
The arrogant is proud of his kinship and his wealth he says: "I'm richer than you, and my kinship are superior to yours." Also, he says, "The wealth I own is so huge." Allah's wisdom is greater. A man was running his business in the Free Zone, and it was a very profitable one; the factories he own gave offers and their sold and purchased goods were good. The owner of the business had millions of liras in his hands. One day, a young disciplined engineer came to him asking for his daughter's hand, but he grimaced and said: "How much is your income per month?" The young replied to him saying that it was very high, yet that man said, "This isn't enough for my daughter for even one day." He said to the young man, "You are not the suitable young man to my daughter."
b. The punishment for arrogance:
By Allah, one of that man's relatives told me what happened to him. He said to me that by the Mighty of Allah Al-Qader (the capable) the Free Zone stopped working, at the time when he had many commercial orders, and he had to pay huge amounts of money to other people. Also, his factories stopped working, and he was prevented from selling his goods. Eventually, he became bankrupt. After a period of time, his kin, who was the intermediary in his daughter's engagement, visited him, and he asked him: "Has your relative, the engineer who once came to me and asked for my daughter's hand got married?" He replied, "No, not yet." Then, the man said, "Can you persuade him to come again and asked for her hand?" He said, "I'll try." Indeed, he persuaded him, and the daughter got engaged to him, and then they got married. Regarding his father-in-low, he worked as an accountant for him. Imagine, in two years, that man, who used to have billions of millions of liras in his hands, and who rejected arrogantly the humble believer(the young engineer), when he asked for his daughter's hand, became an accountant for his son-in-low. Verily, Allah is the Most Great.
This is the punishment for arrogance, and this is the veil of the people of implicit major sins, such as arrogance, conceitedness, hypocrisy, envy, pride, haughtiness and having a fancy of being superior to all people, and that all of them are lost. This is considered arrogance, and self- conceitedness which are included in the implicit major sins, and they veil people from Allah the Almighty. Besides:
((He who has, in his heart, an ant's weight of arrogance will not enter Jannah.))
c. Arrogance corrupts one's deed:
Once, I mentioned a joke saying that a man welcomes about twenty guests and he has nothing for their hospitality, so he thought of the two kilos of yoghurt which he had in the fridge. He said to his wife, "Add water of five doubles of this yoghurt to it and some salt. Then put ice to have the delicious drink ayran (loose yoghurt with water and salt)." It is a good idea as long as the two kilos of yoghurt will not be spoilt. However, if a drop of petrol or oil is added to the drink (ayran), will people drink it? No, absolutely not. Similarly, arrogance spoils man's deed as the vinegar spoils the honey.
I repeat, whoever has an implicit major sin, like arrogance, conceitedness, hypocrisy, envy, pride, haughtiness and having a fancy that he alone is right, while all other people are lost, is veiled from Allah the Almighty.
6- The veil of explicit major sins:
The sixth veil is the veil of the people 0f explicit major sins, i.e. people who commit wrongdoings. Believe it or not, the veil of the people of the explicit major sins is thin, while the veil of the people of the implicit major sins is thick. Which of them are less serious? The explicit major sins are less serious, because the explicit sin is obvious, and so, man could easily repent of it, while, arrogance, for example, is part of the natural disposition of man and it is a constant feeling. Verily, the most serious sin is the one which you don't recognize that it's a sin. Likewise, the disease which has no clear symptoms is considered the most dangerous disease. The most serious sin is the one which you don't feel, because it is insinuated into your heart secretly. This explains why the people of implicit major sins rarely repent of their sins thinking that they're right, while, the people of explicit major sins repent quickly of their sins. In some cases the arrogant man repents when someone draws his attention that he has arrogance. It is said, "The veil of the people of the explicit major sins is thinner than the one of the people of implicit major sins even if the people of the implicit major sins perform too many acts of worship." Despite their intensive performance of many acts of worship, their implicit pride distances them from Allah the Almighty farther than he whose performance of the acts of worship is simple, but he's humble towards Allah the Almighty.
Also, it is said, "The people of the explicit major sins are much closer to safety than people of the implicit major sins, and the hearts of the people of the explicit major sins are healthier than the ones of the people of implicit major sins."Anyway, all major sins whether explicit or implicit, polytheism, spoken innovations, practical innovations, ((every newly invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire)), veil man from Allah the Almighty. Thus, it is stupidity to let minor sins veil you from Allah the Almighty.
Once someone asked a person, "Will you swear a false oath that you witnessed so and so?" The man answered, "Yes, I will, but you have to pay me five thousand liras." He said, "No problem, I'll pay you five thousand liras." When they went into the court, the man saw Al-Quran at the table before the judge. Then the judge asked him to put his hand on Al-Quran to swear, but he stopped for a minute, and then he went to the client and said, "I want you to pay me ten thousand liras, because I have to swear on Al-Quran, and this costs more". Swearing a false oath is one of the major sins. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:
((O people, Satan has despaired of being worshipped in your land till the end of time but he has hope in your doing (wrong) acts that you think insignificant.))
A man who shakes hands with women says, "There is nothing wrong with that, isn't there?" Well, yes there is. Once, a sister in America asked me this question, "Why shaking hands with the other sex is forbidden? We're embarrassed a lot at work. Refusing to shake hands with men is really a big problem in our life, so why it's forbidden? What will happen if we shake hands with men? My answer had nothing to do with Shari'ah, but rather it was related to Da'wah. I said, "As I know, according to the British Law no man is allowed to shake hands with Queen Elizabeth except seven men. She is the queen whose position is very high, so it's not allowed to all men to shake hands with her. There are just specific seven men who are allowed to do this, according to the British Law. The same goes for the Muslim woman who is a queen, so only seven men are allowed to shake hands with her according to the Quranic Law."
The woman is so much honored in Islam to the extent that sometimes the judge came to her house in order to listen to her testimony. However, when Muslim men ignored the true Islam, they have maltreated the woman; they are unjust to her when they divorce her arbitrarily causing her destruction for trivial reasons, and as a result they destroy their household. Furthermore, in some cases the husband refuses to divorce his wife intending to hurt her, so she asks the judge for Khul' (an Islamic divorce which is initiated by the wife and to which the husband must consent) even without getting the consent of the husband. This issue has raised many debates in Egypt recently. Consequently, a law has been issued- in the Law of Personal Affairs- allowing the woman to get Khul' without getting the approval of her husband. This issue needs to be discussed in more details. I ask Allah the Almighty to help me discuss it successfully in the next lessons.
7- The veil of the minor sins:
These minor sins are considered to be a veil too, as the Prophet, peace be upon him said:
((No sin remains minor with persistence, and no sin remains major after Istighfâr (asking for Allah's Forgiveness).))
Let me clarify this by giving you the following example. Suppose that you are riding your car on a sixty meter wide street (there is a street in Jaddah called the street of sixty, because it is sixty meters wide), and there is a deep valley to its left side, and there is another one to its right side. If you fix your handlebar to turn just one mile while you ride your car, you'll definitely end up falling down in the valley. This one mile is just like the minor sin, whereas the major sin is like fixing your handlebar to turn ninety degree away from the straight path, which causes you to fall down in the valley at once.
((No sin remains minor with persistence, and no sin remains major after Istighfâr (asking for Allah's Forgiveness).))
If you turn the handlebar ninety degree, but then you realize the dangerous consequences of that, and so you turn it back, you will save yourself from danger. The street is wide, and you realize what keeps you safe.
((O people, Satan has despaired of being worshipped in your land till the end of time but he has hope in your doing (wrong) acts that you think insignificant.))
Some people think that they are just minor sins, so they persist in committing them. For instance most people think that playing backgammon is just a minor sin, and they say, "It just a game we play to have fun and enjoy ourselves since we are bored, so what's wrong with that?" However, the Prophet peace be upon him, said:
((Whoever plays backgammon is like unto the one who has dipped his hands into a pig's meat and blood.))
The above mentioned Hadith is Sahih, and playing backgammon is a very old game. Other sins which people think they are minor include looking at the forbidden things, lying to people to make them laugh and imitating the behavior of other people, like when a woman imitate another woman, etc. All these sins veil people from Allah the Almighty. Aeyshah, may Allah be pleased with her, said:
((I said to the Prophet: 'It's bad enough that Safiyyah is such and such. (Some of narrators said: she is short).' He said: "You have said a word which, if it could be mixed with the water of the sea, it would have been… (i.e., the enormity of it is such that, if it were mixed with the vast water of the sea, it would spoil it.)"))
Hence, the minor sins veil people from Allah the Almighty too.
8- The veil of people who exaggerate in fulfilling the permissible needs:
Now we come to the veil of people who exaggerate in fulfilling the permissible needs. A man bought a house at Barnieh Street in Damascus. That house was two flats whose ground was one flagstone. Each one of them is about 220 square meters, so it's the two flats were about 440 square meters, and the house was super deluxe. Nevertheless, the man cracked the floor, took off the ceramic and the wood frame and he turned the house back to its basics. Then he spent two years in rebuilding it; he brought all the things he needed choosing the most expensive, modern and beautiful style. The building had no elevator, so every day he had to take the stairs up to the twelfth floor. After he finished building this house, he decorated it. He put a table of onyx-marble, put bronze aluminum in some parts of the house and plastered the kitchen. His neighbor, who is one of our brother, swore that he died on the same day when the house was finished. He spent two whole years taking the stairs up to the twelfth floor rebuilding and redecorating his house using the most expensive building materials, because he had high taste. Yet, "he will be taken to his last residence (his tomb)" as it's written in all his death announcements. It means that the house where you live is a temporary residence, and the moral lesson you should learn is that your grave is lightened by your good deeds. Exaggerating in fulfilling permissible needs is time and efforts consuming. Let alone, it veils man from Allah the Almighty even if he does not commit any act of disobedience.
Death is the last destiny, and the grave the container of deeds:
By Allah, few days ago, while I was at a funeral, I stood before the grave and said, "Glorified is Allah! Each one of us should call himself to account asking, does this place (the grave) need to be puttied it or repaired? You maybe a perfectionist, but, you have to take into consideration that this grave is the last destiny. Tell me please, is there a five star grave? By Allah, I have never heard about a five or four or three or two or even one star grave, but there may be stars back (if he is a sinner, he will be punished in his grave). The grave is the container of deeds.
Most of us are distanced because of the veil of exaggerating in fulfilling the permissible needs. We commit neither minor not major sins, neither implicit major sins nor explicit ones, neither practical innovations nor spoken ones, neither polytheism nor believing in a straying doctrine. Praise be to Allah the Almighty that all of our deeds are good, but this exaggeration in fulfilling the permissible needs is a veil that most people have. Satan despairs to make man disbelieve when he finds that he's got a strong faith in Allah, he despairs to drive him to polytheism, because he notices that man has strong Monotheism, he despairs to drive him to commit major sins, because he finds that man's got Istiqamah, Satan despairs to make him commit the minor sins, because he finds that man pious, he despairs to drive him to innovate, because he notices that man is one of Al-Sunnah followers, etc. Therefore, when Satan is frustrated and defeated, he uses the ace in his hand is left with him, which is fulfilling the permissible needs (exaggeratedly).
Dear brother, I went into many houses for condolence, and I saw how they looked like. When a relative of one of our brother tells me that his uncle died, I go to condole. Once, I found that the deceased's house cost about seventy-eight million or even more, but I wonder, where is his owner? The answer is: he is now in Bab Sgheir cemetery.
Once upon a time, I was in Aleppo, and the person who invited me to go there said that he would like to show me some of Aleppo districts. He took me to Ash-Shahbaa' district which if you walk in its streets, you will notice that the houses in the most well known high class people's district here in Damascus look like cottages in comparison to that district. The houses there are like palaces. My visit to that district was in 1974, i.e. twenty-five years ago. While I was walking there I looked at a palace which was white, and it has the Chinese style designation. At that time, the dollar equaled only three Syrian Liras, and building that palace cost thirty-five million dollars, which equalizes about seven hundred million liras nowadays. His owner died when he was forty-two years old, and he was a tall man, but his grave was short for him, and it didn't suit his tall body when he was put into it. Therefore, the digger pushed him from his chest to get him inside, and so he was put in his grave arched. Hence, the owner of that majestic palace rested in the grave at that state. This is out of Allah's Divine wisdom. People too much exaggerate in meeting their permitted needs, which I guess it's one of the veils that veil people from Allah the Almighty.
9- The veil of oblivious people:
The ninth veil is the one of oblivious people; they are those who forgot about the purpose they were created for in the worldly life. What is the purpose of your creation in the worldly life? You were created to get acquainted with Allah the Almighty and to do good deeds. The forgetful man is the one who becomes oblivious to the main purpose of his existence. This is the veil of oblivious people.
10- The veil of scholars who are oblivion to the major bases of Islam:
We come to the last veil, and mentioning it embarrasses people. It is manifested when a man wrongly believes that the whole religion lies in one specific matter, so he exaggerates in caring about it and forgets about the other minor religious matters. You may meet a person who thinks that religion is Fiqh only and nothing else. On the contrary, religion is about Aqidah, Istiqamah (steadfastness), doing good deed, keep connected with Allah and so on. This man thinks that religion is all about Fiqh. Another person performs tajwid (tajwid is an Arabic word for elocution and refers to the rules governing pronunciation during recitation of the Qur'an. It is derived from the triliteral root j-w-d, meaning 'to make well, make better, improve') thinking that it is the essence of religion. Well it is important to learn it, but still it is considered a part of religion rather than the whole religion (as he thinks.). Another one believes that the whole religion is just about replying to people of Kufr, and he is called an Islamic thinker although he does not pray! He misunderstands religion, so he cares about one side of it and neglects all other sides. Thus, he is also veiled.
The veils which invalidate the deeds & cause destruction
The ten veils are: the veil of believing in a corrupted doctrine, the veil of hidden polytheism, the veil of spoken innovations, the veil of practical innovations, the veil of the people of implicit major sins, the veil of the people of explicit major sins veil, the veil of people of the minor sins, the veil of the people who exaggerate in fulfilling the permissible needs, the veil of the oblivious people and the veil of the hardworking people who have neglected the essential bases of religion.
These are the ten veils which veil people from Allah the Almighty. Gaining the true happiness, the true safety, the true security, the true prosperity, the true success and the true satisfaction can only be through obeying Allah the Almighty and drawing closer to Him, whereas, destruction and misery are the effects of turning away from Him and violating His Orders. Thus, you should seek whatever gets you closer to Allah and keep away from whatever gets you away from Him.